Sunday, August 6, 2017

Sewing again.....for real!

I'm not wearing the splint around the house much these days, unless I'm doing heavy work like changing sheets etc.  I'm keeping up with my physical therapy exercises which include activities like picking up coins (easy) and then flicking them out of my palm (hard), twiddling paperclips around in my fingers (not hard, but I keep dropping them!), and playing with a large container of dried black beans (ditto).  

I tried to sew with the splint on and it was pretty impossible.  I decided sewing without it was probably the best occupational therapy!  My hand looks narrow and my wrist is still thick.  Everything is a bit stiff and can be quite painful if I move it the wrong way.  

It's not very strong yet either, but then pins and small pieces of fabric don't weigh much and if I'm very careful look what I can do!  

Three more blocks in the Honey Pot Bee series.  I'm a bit behind, but having the best time catching up.  :-D

Tuesday, July 11, 2017


And typing too!  Amazing to me.  I spent most of the weekend in a drug induced haze.  The Sailor Son, his boys and his lady paid us a visit.  Saturday, we spent a few hours at the lake.  There the four of them are in the water.  Me, I sat in my chair with my arm propped up staying carefully away from water or sand.  It was very hot and I did get up a couple of times to dunk my feet in the cool water, much to the family's amusement.  I couldn't walk in a straight line to save my soul!  I'm not sure what other people thought as I staggered back and forth.  :-)

It certainly wore me out.  All of us apparently.  The Tramp snuck this photo of us napping and commented upon the family resemblance.  lol

The dogs always enjoy a lot of attention during these visits.  Especially so for Piglet this time around.

Monday, The Viking had to mostly amuse himself.  He arrived with his bendy Batman and Joker and declared he wanted to build Gotham City.  We googled for the "perfect" pictures and taped them up as a backdrop.  Then he got seriously to work while I snoozed in my chair.  I was by this time off the narcotics so we also went out for a short test drive around the corner and a well earned work-off-some-energy-session for him at the mall play area.

My original dressing and plaster splint was becoming more and more uncomfortable.  It was so tight and the itching was getting more and more intense.  Arrrghhhh!  So this morning The Viking and I went off to the orthopaedic clinic so they could fix my problem.  The bandage and splint were cut off and lo and behold I had lots of swelling and a large itchy welt on the underside of my arm.  So this is the new splint, which I would have been given next week anyway.  I've also got a jump on the physical therapy.  I have a few exercises to keep my fingers limber which should also reduce some of the swelling.  The big puff on the back of my hand has gone down considerably already.  Yay.

It didn't completely solve the problem though.  The regulation "sock" part is not at all comfortable and too short to keep the plastic from touching my inflamed skin.  Arrrrghhhh!

After a couple of hours it was clear the whole thing was too tight so back I went for an adjustment.  My thumb was being strangled and the long sides were digging in.

Ahhhh.  Much better.  And the nasty "sock" problem was solved by pulling out some leftover cotton knit and making some "socks" of my own.  Also much better.  :-D

Who knew I'd be cutting and sewing so soon!  I sure didn't!

Friday, July 7, 2017

Wednesday, July 5, 2017


Much of what I've been doing for the past month has been in preparation for the six to twelve weeks I won't be able to sew.  Tomorrow morning I'm having surgery on my left hand.  Oh no!  No sewing!  Ack!  (No cleaning house either, but that doesn't bother me.  At all.)  ;-)

Of course I have sewing projects galore that need finishing.  So I made a mental list and have been working my way through some of them.  The first thing was to finish the tote bags I showed in my last post.  There is one more to be made for me, but it ended up getting put aside.  I've had this sun hat for The Viking cut out and being pushed about my sewing tables for about a year.  Done!

The hat was a must-wear for a few days.  I believe this is a superhero face and pose, though it could also be a "bad guy."  It's hard for me to keep up!

He arrived with his Batman sneakers in hand one morning.  "Nini!  My shoes are broken.  You have to fix them.  They need to be knitted."  So I sewed the velcro back on.  So funny!!

 I also decided it was high time to get the sandbox off the porch and take the area back for the grownups.  We covered the floor with some outdoor carpet and spent a couple of days putting new furniture together.  Much better!  It keeps some of the mosquitoes off the porch.  I finally broke down and bought some yard insect spray and judicious spraying of the screens and around the door has made it possible to actually sit on the porch unmolested.  And less mosquitoes come through the doorway with the dogs as well.  The mosquito war will never be won, but this has been a step in the right direction.  Yay!

I've also been prepping The Viking for "when Nini has a big bandage on her hand and can't do things."  We've been having practice sessions in the car with the seat belt buckles.  Success!  He also has some new shorts with no snaps and zippers.  "Pants with nothing on them" he calls them.

My brother and his family came for a visit and I can't believe I didn't take a single photo!  So instead, I took a photo of the bottle of honey he brought us from his own bee hives.  Yum!

What will keep The Viking and I busy when I can't leave the house?  Hmmmm.  Ah!  Lego is always good for some imaginative play.  I invested in a set of "classic" Lego and he has been having a blast with it.  "This car can go 45 Nini!  45 to the sun!!"  The creature on the right is a bee.  

 And this is a greenhouse.  I love the fan hanging from above.  :-)

He's also been hard at it with glue and scissors.  I bought a big pack of colored construction paper.  That ought to keep him busy too.

I desperately wanted to make a new purse before the surgery date.  This is a new pattern by Erin Gilbey called the Sunrise Saddle Bag.  It came out great!  Perfect for the one handed person.  :-)

Also on my agenda was finally finishing the cover for The Tramp's desk chair.  The seat and back are taken from a used sheepskin car seat cover.  It's a bit weird, but he likes it so that makes it perfect.  If you look at the photo up above of the boy cutting paper, you can see the chair behind him in it's bad condition.  The bonded surface of the leather had peeled and bits of it were showing up all over the house!

 Another list item was a couple of curtains for the porch.  The outdoor fabric was on sale last week so there was no excuse.  Now we can have dinner outside without the sun in our eyes.  Hooray!  I actually went back to the store this week for enough fabric for one more curtain and some tiebacks, but that is going to have to wait.  Other small sewing items like mending have been finished too.  Busy, busy.

And just about the most important item before a big life event is getting a new pedicure.  Right?  No picture of my toes, but this was the sky as I left the salon.  Ominous.  Another item struck off my list.

I was pleased to get this 4th of July photo of Stardust, Batman and Five with what looks suspiciously like fireworks.  The boys will be coming for a visit soon.  :-D

We went to the fireworks in a local town with ED and The Viking.  There was a chance of rain, but instead we were treated to spectacular skys.

We were treated to music from the Bull City Syndicate, and after them the North Carolina Symphony Orchestra.

And fireworks of course. :-)

Today we took The Viking on a farm tour.  The Ninja Cow Farm is local and since I've been exploring local places to buy meat this seemed like a great opportunity.  The story of the ninja cow is funny and amazing and if you'd like to read it this is the link.  Dan Moore is a farmer with a way with words.  :-)  He was also a great tour guide.  We visited the pigs, saw the loads and loads of leftover produce from the State Farmers Market that is hauled in to feed the cows and pigs, and fed some bananas to the two dairy cows.  Seven million pounds of produce a year.  Wow.

So now I go to bed with all the usual instructions of what not to eat or drink after what time, and what to wear and not wear tomorrow, where to go and when to arrive.  I won't be typing much, but I'm sure I can post a few pictures in the coming weeks.  See you on the other side!

Monday, June 12, 2017


Sorry.  Just had to get that out of my system.  I'm just sitting here at the keyboard MINDING MY OWN BUSINESS and a mosquito was working it's way up my arm.  Grrrrrrr.

Anyway.....   I will type in spite of the intense itching.  ARRRGGGGHHHH   (What did we do before Benadryl Spray??)

The Viking and I have been spending most of our time together out of the house it seems.  Finally we've been able to relax and enjoy a few days at home.  He's getting quite good with scissors.  We dig through the paper recycle bin and my fabric scrap bin and he cuts and cuts.

He's getting quite creative with the shapes that appear.  This day turned out to be all about horns.  He wouldn't rest until I taped horns on his head.

Then he taped horns, beak, wings and tail to his sippy cup and proceeded to give it "horn cuts" instead of a haircut.  Too funny.

A fun photo of Stardust ready for a field day at school.

And a first photo of grand #8, as yet ungendered and unnamed.  :-)

In my last post I complained a bit about my selection of quilting presser feet and had just altered one to be non-hopping.  With fingers crossed, I ordered another Janome foot in hopes it would fit my Juki.  Some do and some don't.

Also that day, came the forget-me-not fabric.  Now I have several fabrics from the same line for the Quilting Babes challenge quilt.

Much to my relief and fits!!!

The needle is perfectly centered.  Yay!  It works like a dream.  Yesssssss.

So I finished the quilting and then constructed the second tote bag.  This one is for the guild swap.  My partner likes blue and green so I hope she likes it.

 I came so close to running out of the quilting thread.  (King Tut, Mint Julep)  I just squeaked in some stitching on the handles.  Phew.

I also finished another rosette for La Passacaglia.  I'm trying to get away from the purple stars I started with.  I decided it would be much more fun to just go crazy with color.  We shall see.

 Last Wednesday The Tramp and I went to a concert.  Yep.  That's Paul Simon!!  The show was fabulous.  I consider it a testament to his greatness that he and his sound people realize you don't have to make peoples' ears bleed with the volume.  I didn't even have to put on my ear plugs.  It was a joy to listen quietly, sing along with the crowd, and even dance a bit.  Almost 2 1/2 hours.  Wow.

Everyone was prepared for rain, but it didn't happen.  Instead we were treated to a sideshow of the almost full moon dancing with the fast moving clouds.  Pretty neat.

Along with all the usual weekend errands, on both Saturday and Sunday morning, before the days heated up too much, we did some heavy gardening.  At least these days I find it heavy going.  ;-)  I've been wanting to plant something on this bare slope beside the driveway.  In the backyard there is a patch of mondo grass which the dogs haven't managed to kill.  I figure if it's that hardy, it might survive in this somewhat shady spot.  The "soil" is rock hard clay.  Like cement!  We planted plugs until our backs gave out, mulched, and installed a soaker hose above them on the slope.  We shall see.  If it works, maybe I'll try some hostas and possibly a shrub or two.  Living in hope.  :-)

We picked up some rosebushes, blueberry bushes and a nandina from the clearance racks at the back of Lowes' garden section.  We planted three roses bushes in the spot I tried to grow tomatoes last year.  Fingers crossed they are more successful.  Amazingly, buried up against the garden border was this enormous goose egg!  I suppose the thief who raided the first nest buried it here for safekeeping.  What a surprise!  I wondered why we didn't see broken shells all over the place when the nest was raided.  Now I know.  The eggs were cached.

In the backyard we planted the blueberry bushes and pegged down and mulched over soaker hoses in the three gardens.

No more eggs I'm afraid, though I did run across this interesting spider with an unusual web, settled in the clump of daylilies up against the deck.  A little research tells me it's most probably a female banded garden spider, Argiope trifasciata.

"Females are large, silvery spiders with legs banded in black and yellow. Look for this species in late summer and fall in fields, prairies, gardens, and meadows. The circular webs are built close to the ground amid tall grasses and weeds, often with a zigzag band of silk running through the center."
After such a busy weekend I think we earned a little rest time on the porch.  :-)